Dealing with Social Isolation and Our Inner Life with
The pandemic has wreaked havoc in our lives, robbing us of our comforts and routines. Despite everything that occurred in the past year, some are still in denial, claiming everything to be a hoax. Some are angry they have to wear masks and be stuck in quarantine. From health concerns to social isolation , what is the toll of all these on our minds and bodies?
In this episode, renowned poet and spiritual teacher Mark Nepo talks about social isolation and the feelings we experience in this new normal. He also discusses connecting with ourselves, being self-aware, and practicing our inner lives.
Tune in to discover how we can find the courage to reach out and move on from the fear within us!
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Listen to Mark’s thoughts on the pandemic and how we can break free from isolation.
- Learn about spiritual practice and how it can transform your life.
- Understand the cost of not being authentic and how you can be more real.
About Mark’s Book of Soul
- In this book, Mark integrates things he’s been exploring for years in other books.
- It opens by saying we’re all here physically because of the love and courage of our mothers who gave birth to us.
- Once we’re in the world, we go through second labor, which is the experience of a lifetime that births the soul on earth.
Great Love and Great Suffering
- Right now we are becoming exhausted of our differences.
- The old world before the pandemic is gone. We need each other, and we need to see past our differences.
- When something is gone, there is grief and loss.
- Some people get stuck in some of the stages of grief, like denial or anger.
- We all need to move through those stages and accept that the old world is gone. We also have to accept and love each other to make our way forward.
Anger During the Pandemic
- Often, anger is one of many responses to being hurt.
- We have to face our hurt and talk about it so that we can heal and don’t return to anger.
- People, especially in the West, tend to run away from feelings.
- The heart is our greatest teacher — we need to feel what we have to feel and face what we have to face.
Real or Not Real
- Nobody can tell anybody how to be in their spirit and heart — it’s all very personal.
- The real work of self-awareness is so that we can fully be who we are and be connected to everything larger than us.
- If we don’t have a way to connect who we are to all of life, then we’re untethered.
- Thus, it becomes hard to find what’s real and what’s not.
Social Isolation and Losing Love
- In medieval times, monks said they practiced their faith by falling and getting up.
- When we’re lonely, we take the risk to reach out.
- With social isolation, there’s like a clear wall that starts to grow around us. It takes courage to break that wall.
- One of the things keeping us isolated is our want to have preferences. It’s like reading reviews before choosing a restaurant to eat at or a movie to watch — we don’t want to experience anything we don’t like.
- Our preferences only make the clear wall around us higher. To break that wall of social isolation, we have to take quiet courage to reach out past our preferences.
On Honesty and Authenticity
- With social media and dating apps, we just simply put our information out in the world for everyone to know. Many of us also tend to only show the highlight reel of our lives.
- One of the rewards of being authentic is experiencing oneness.
- It’s difficult for us to be honest because we fear getting hurt, rejection, or that we won’t be seen or heard for who we are.
- Mark has learned, however, that the cost of not being authentic is greater. When you’re not who you truly are, a part of you starts to die.
- Practicing our inner life deepens our roots and widens our trunk, so we won’t be uprooted whatever storms may come our way.
Mark’s Radical Love
- Radical doesn’t mean on the edge, politically; rather, it means rooting and affirming growth.
- Mark felt radically loved when he was going through his cancer journey.
- He felt the love from so many people of all traditions and faiths that years later, he’s still not wise enough to know what religion worked and what didn’t.
- So, he was challenged to believe in everything, and that has been the center of his work over the last 30 years.
- Radical love is the light that connects everything.
5 Powerful Quotes from this Episode
[07:33] “We need each other, and we need the humility and courage to see past our differences and accept where we are to make our way forward.”
[11:51] “Often, anger is one of many responses to being hurt. And if we never face and deal with our own hurt, we will return to the anger but we’ll never get to the hurt, and if you don’t get to the hurt, you can’t heal.”
[13:16] “Only by having that courage to be with what we feel, to face what we have to face, and feel what we have to feel, can we discover that we are the same at heart.”
[34:09] “The more that we focus our energy and life force into getting into that state of grounding, that state of connection, and to that state of authenticity, we can really then connect to our own security and sense of being.”
[35:53] “We all share the same root system, which is why we have to take care of each other, because it’s all connected.”
Mark Nepo is a renowned poet and philosopher and has been teaching in the field of poetry and spirituality for over 30 years. He has published over 20 books and is best known for the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Book of Awakening.
After his darkest moment in life when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, being a cancer survivor helped him form his philosophy of experiencing life fully and reconnect to his deeper sense of spirit. Devoted to the journey of inner transformation and life of relationship, Mark continues to offer readings and webinars.
To learn more, you may visit his website or connect with him on Twitter.
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